The puckish princess is Twilight's highlight
Navi? Too naggy. Fi? Too nannying. No, Link's greatest helper is (spoiler alert!) the Twilight Princess herself, Midna. She has a mischievous streak of humour that matches her impish form, and, like Groose, while she's a little annoying for the opening stages, she soon blossoms into one of the most intriguing characters in Zelda history. Her sarcasm grows ever more endearing as the adventure progresses, and before long she has sneakily - and snarkily - wormed her way into the affections of both the player and Link.
Jungle Beat's dorsal delight gets our seal of approval
Apes are hardly the most hydrodynamically inclined of creatures, and Donkey Kong is no exception. In EAD Tokyo's bongo-fuelled platformer, he moves through the wet stuff as if swimming through jelly - incidentally something he tackles later in the game. So there's a genuine rush of empowerment when Orco swims along, DK grasping her fin as the whale speeds through barriers, looping around and making a majestic leap. Pure. Nintendo. Magic.
23. THE PROFESSOR
Contact through the fourth wall
Grasshopper's DS RPG Contact has a smart central conceit that sees a balding boffin directly address the player. Exploration and combat are fairly simple, but it's the interactions with the Professor that keep things interesting. He's the source of much of the self-referential humour.
24. MR SATURN
The Mother of all weird NPCs
Earthbound's mascots have big noses, scruffy whiskers and very little hair. We've no idea why we empathise so much with them. It could be their generosity, or perhaps their relaxed, peace-loving mentality. Or maybe even the fact they brew up a psychotropic brand of coffee. But mostly it's that they say daft things like "boing!" and "zoom!" at the end of sentences.
Another of Blood Edward Island's dark secrets
We miss Cing's capacity to spin a yarn, but most of all we miss their way with characters. Another Code: Two Memories may have brilliant puzzles, but we won't forget the touching tale of a teenage girl and a ghostly boy who help each other uncover the secrets in their pasts. Ashley Robbins might be the lead, but D (short for Daniel) is the beating heart of the narrative, and their farewell scene is easily one of the most moving moments on DS.